Vita Rara: A Life Uncommon


New Lenses

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It's that time of year. It seems that in the spring I add lenses to my collection. In '05 it was a 50mm f/1.8, in '06 it was a 100mm f/2.8 Macro and a 17-40 f/4L. This year I added the Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS, and the EF 70-200 f/4L IS. These are both incredible lenses. I haunted the local brew pub, and hounded the cats for a few pics.

Wool Gathering

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Sometimes you stumble upon something that takes you back in time. In past times this would frequently occur in an attic, or old closet that someone was cleaning out. For me this happens when I change computers. I just got a new laptop, and I'm moving into it, after migrating all of my files over.

In this process I happened on an old QuickTime movie I made with photos from the first year of having my Canon Digital Rebel. Take a look (10MB). I thought I had posted it on this site, but apparently I hadn't. This video covers Septmber 2003 to September 2004.

The Shriners

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The Shriners of North America are likely one of the best known Masonic organizations in America. Many people do not know it, but to be a Shriner you must first be a Freemason.

The Shrine is involved in many philanthropic pursuits. It's greatest being their burn and orthopedic hospitals for children.

Shriners participate in parades in their local communities to raise awareness of their works with children, and to promote the organization. Members will ride motorcycles, miniature cars, play in bands, but probably the most recognizable participants are the Shrine clowns.

The George Washington Bible

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George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, took his oath of office on the Bible owned by St. Johns Lodge No. 1 in New York City. This Bible has remained in the possession of St. Johns Lodge since that time, and is maintained as a national treasure.

Frequently the officers of many Grand Lodges, New York in particular, ask to take their obligations on the George Washington Bible. Here you see the Bible being placed on the altar for the installation of officers for the Grand Lodge of New York during their 2006 grand session.

The Bible is always accompanied by a team from St. Johns Lodge. The gloves you see are always worn when handling the Bible. This prevents oils from our hands from causing damage. Also, all flash photography must be done from a safe distance.

The Great Light

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The Holy Bible, the Great Light in Masonry, is the rule and guide that a Mason should diligently search within to find the path to righteousness. Freemasonry, though, urgess upon all of its members that each should read the Great Light personally to find the light they need in their lives. Masonry is not a religion and we obligate our members on their holy book, if it be the Talmud, the Koran, or the Gitas. But in every regular and well governed lodge of Freemasons you will find a volume of sacred law.

Here you see a lodge room with the altar in the center upon which rest an open Bible. The three candles placed around the altar are always lit when the Great Light is open, as a sign of respect, and to illuminate it for the benefit of the craft.

Portraits of Freemasonry

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I'm starting a new project today. Over the past few years I have collected a number of pictures of Freemasons, doing various Masonic things. I will be working this into a full section of the site covering Freemasonry and illustrating it with photos from my travels in the craft. Be sure to check it out.

Installation Day

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Every year in most American lodges the officers are elected and installed into their offices. This brother is about to be elevated to the highest office in his lodge, that of Master. It is an office of great responsibility and authority. Masonry seeks only to elevate its best brothers to this office, and depends on them to exercise their wisdom as custodians of our honored craft.

Portraits of Freemasonry

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Freemasons are one of the oldest fraternal organizations in the world. Its members strive to live upright and productive lives benefiting their families, community, and the world.

Over the past few years I have taken photos of Masons performing various functions particular to Freemasonry, and at work in the world at large. Enjoy these images as I have enjoyed taking them.

The Photographic Muse


In 2003 I purchased a Canon Digital Rebel 300D. I took thousands of photos. It mostly revolved around landscape photography while I was traveling. I'd purchased a BMW R1100RT prior to getting the camera and they really went hand in hand. Travel, take pictures, ride amazing places... lather, rinse, repeat.

Lately though I haven't taken many photos. The last time I think I used the camera was in May while we were in Torrey, UT. It was an amazing trip, and I took some amazing photos. Problem is since then I haven't. I've lacked the time, the inspiration, and the subjects.

Photo Galleries


Last night I redid my old galleries page into a separate page for each gallery, along with a few teaser images. Take a look.

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